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Parkinson's Disease Tips

Parkinson's Disease - Most Common Motor & Non-motor Symptoms At Your Rescue!

Dr. Deepak Kumar 86% (28 ratings)
M. Ch (Neuro Surgery), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Neurologist, Gurgaon
Parkinson's Disease - Most Common Motor & Non-motor Symptoms At Your Rescue!

What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive and degenerative disorder of the Central Nervous System that mostly affects older people. It is a chronic disease and the symptoms develop over a period of time. The characteristic symptoms of Parkinson’s are rigidity, shaking, bradykinesia (slowness in movement) and shuffled gait. Anxiety and depression also seem to be common in advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease. In addition to the motor symptoms, the cognitive function of the brain is also compromised.

Degeneration of the nerve cells in the substantia nigra of the brain results in the reduction in production of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Neurotransmitters relay impulses from one nerve to the other. This is what is mainly responsible for the motor symptoms in Parkinson’s. Although, Parkinson’s is not a curable disease, it can be controlled and the progress of the disease can be kept in check with certain medications.

What causes Parkinson’s disease?
The cause of Parkinson’s is mostly idiopathic, i.e. the cause is unknown and is not specific. However, there have been cases which show that it can be attributed to factors such as genetic and environmental factors.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s?

The symptoms of Parkinson’s can be classified as Motor symptoms and Non-motor symptoms:

Motor Symptoms 

  • Bradykinesia: Slow movement
  • Tremor of limbs
  • Rigidity or stiffness of trunk and limbs
  • Impaired balance and difficulty in coordination or postural instability

Non-motor Symptoms 

Parkinson’s disease is not curable, but when detected early, medicines are prescribed to give symptomatic relief. Dopamine substitutes are prescribed to the patient to relieve the motor symptoms.

2 people found this helpful

Parkinson's Disease - How Levodopa Benefits Can Be Boosted?

Dr. Sankalp Mohan 92% (98 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Fellow In Pain Management, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Navi Mumbai
Parkinson's Disease - How Levodopa Benefits Can Be Boosted?

If you are being treated for Parkinson's disease. How can you maximize the effect of Levodopa? The effect of levodopa can be maximized by increasing its absorption from the digestive system. In particular, taking levodopa on an empty stomach is very important. 

  1. Take on an empty stomach: Do not eat anything 1 hour before taking levodopa. Do not eat anything for at least 30 minutes and if possible 1 hour after taking it. Take the pill with 2 glasses of water so that it can dissolve. If taking the levodopa on an empty stomach makes you nauseous, confirm that your medication has the right amount of carbidopa in relation to the levodopa (25%). If you continue to feel nauseous, you can eat a piece of white bread around the time that you take levodopa. Do not apply any butter, yogurt, cheese or similar high protein spreads. Protein can drastically decrease the absorption of levodopa. 
  2. Get your constipation treated: This is critically important too. Being constipated can slow down the passage of levodopa through the digestive system. In most patients, drinking adequate water and taking stool softeners is helpful. 
  3. Get your ulcer treated: It can be difficult to recognize that you have a gastric ulcer. However, if you have a burning sensation in your stomach at any time, or belch frequently, you may have a gastric ulcer. If you think you have an ulcer you should get tested (there is a simple breath test now) and treated with antibiotics (not antacids!) 
  4. Do not take levodopa with iron tablets: The iron binds to levodopa and prevents its absorption. Keep a gap of at least two hours between these two medications. 
  5. Try taking levodopa with orange juice and carbonated water (soda): Mix equal quantities of orange juice and carbonated water (soda). Take your regular levodopa with a glass of this preparation instead of water. The carbonated water hastens disintegration of the tablet, and the acidity of both things helps in levodopa absorption. There are special tablets of levodopa (dispersible levodopa, Madopar) which can be dissolved in this preparation. Talk to your doctor about it.
601 people found this helpful

Parkinson's Disease - Debunking 5 Common Myths & Facts About It!

Dr. Aveg Bhandari 88% (13 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Indore
Parkinson's Disease - Debunking 5 Common Myths & Facts About It!

You might be aware that the Parkinson’s diseases is related to the nervous system and is a progressive disorder that impairs movement. The cause of the illness is still unknown, but certain factors like environmental triggers and genetics may play a part in this regard. There are several myths about this condition that are prevalent among people. Some of them are listed below along with the facts.

Myth #1: Parkinson’s disease occurs only in aged persons
This is one of the biggest misconceptions that people have about this disease. The misconception arises because the disease is usually diagnosed at an old age. But according to various researches that are conducted the disease may start developing at a younger age.

Myth #2: The disease symptoms include only impaired movement
Impaired movement maybe one of the biggest symptoms of the diseases but not the only one. There are other symptoms which affect day-to-day activities but are still unnoticed. These symptoms include constipationsleep disorderssweating, abnormal bladder functioning, fatiguesexual dysfunction, cognitive symptoms, depression and even anxiety. But the symptoms that are non-motor are treatable unlike the problems with movement.

Myth #3: There is no hope for patients who are diagnosed with the disease
Patients who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are often told that they do not have any hope towards a cure. It is true that the disease is a progressive one, but it is not true that it cannot be controlled. Certain devices have been discovered which when used sends a signal to the brain which helps in reducing the tremors which are one of the well-known symptoms of the disease. So, no need to lose hope.

Myth #4: Medications are the only way in which you can undertake treatment for Parkinson’s disease
Some people believe that they cannot do anything except for taking medications to control the disease. But this is not true. Doing regular exercise and changing your food habits are at many times helpful in treating this particular condition. Have a balanced diet which will have enough fiber is also helpful. To increase your stability and flexibility, a daily workout routine is quite recommendable, and it will even increase your self-confidence and your feeling of independence.

Myth #5: Everything about the disease can be predicted
The disease is not at all predictable. If it were, a cure would have been in place by now. Everything from the symptoms to the treatment procedure varies from person to person. The disease may take years to develop in one individual but may develop instantly in someone else.

Don’t go by hearsay evidence about a disease. Medical science has improved a lot over the years. If you have any doubt regarding your health condition reach out to your doctor and clarify them at once.

3200 people found this helpful

Parkinson's Disease - How To Track It Early?

Dr. Dhruv Zutshi 92% (12 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - General Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Delhi
Parkinson's Disease - How To Track It Early?

Neurology is the branch of science and medicine dealing with the central and peripheral nervous system. The nervous system is made of the brain and spinal cord. The disorders, illness or injuries of the nervous system can become problematic for people suffering from them. One of the worst diseases of the nervous system is Parkinson’s disease.

It is a progressive disorder affecting the central nervous system that leads to slowing down of movement and slurring of speech over a period of time. It is a condition where the nerve cells in the brain producing dopamine (a neurotransmitter) are affected.

Some of the early signs of Parkinson’s include:

  1. Tremor: If you have noticed a slight shaking of your hands or limbs, then Parkinson’s might be the cause. The trembling can range from mild to severe as the disease progresses. The back-and-forth rubbing of your thumb and forefinger is known as pill-rolling tremor. One of the most prominent signs is your hand shaking even when it is rested.
  2. Bradykinesia (slow movement): As the disease progresses, you may find it difficult to move your hands or legs or going from one place to another. Even making the smallest movement will require an increased effort on your part.
  3. Rigid Muscles: The muscles in your body can become stiff causing you pain and making it difficult to perform physical activities.
  4. Masked Face: Your face may experience spasms or become stiff periodically. It can also lead to complete paralysis on one side of the face.
  5. Stooping or improper balance: Having Parkinson’s disease can make your body posture imbalanced resulting in stooping or hunching over.
  6. Decreased Automatic Movements: You may experience difficulty in smiling, blinking or swinging your arms while walking.
  7. Alteration in voice or speaking: Your voice can become soft or you may slur while talking. You can also experience a monotonous voice.
  8. Writing may become small: You can experience changes in your handwriting as it becomes small and crowded.
  9. Loss of Smell: The smell of food sitting right in front of you may not register in your olfactory resulting in loss of appetite.
  10. Constipation: Having Parkinson’s disease can lead to patients experiencing irritable bowel syndrome.
  11. Have Trouble Sleeping: It might be difficult to fall asleep for people suffering from Parkinson’s. Also, there are sudden movements during the sleeping process.
  12. DizzinessPeople suffering from Parkinson’s may faint from time to time.

These were some of the symptoms and signs by which you can tell whether a person has Parkinson’s or not. However, as of now it is not curable and can only be treated with medicines. But, early detection can definitely help in preventing it from affecting the whole body.

2663 people found this helpful

What Causes Orthostatic Tremor!

Dr. Swarup Kumar Ghosh 88% (82 ratings)
MD - Bio-Chemistry, MF Homeo (London), DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery), BHMS
Homeopath, Kolkata
What Causes Orthostatic Tremor!

The main symptom of primary orthostatic tremor is the occurrence of a rapid tremor affecting both legs while standing. A tremor is involuntary, rhythmic contractions of various muscles. Orthostatic tremor causes feelings of “vibration”, unsteadiness or imbalance in the legs. The tremor associated with primary orthostatic tremor has such high frequency that it may not visible to the naked eye but can be palpated by touching the thighs or calves, by listening to these muscles with a stethoscope, or by electromyography. The tremor is position-specific (standing) and disappears partially or completely when an affected individual walks, sits or lies down. In many cases, the tremor becomes progressively more severe and feelings of unsteadiness become more intense. Some affected individuals can stand for several minutes before the tremor begins; others can only stand momentarily. Eventually, affected individuals may experience stiffness, weakness and, in rare cases, pain in the legs. Orthostatic tremor, despite usually becoming progressively more pronounced, does not develop into other conditions or affect other systems of the body.

Some affected individuals may also have a tremor affecting the arms. In one case reported in the medical literature, overgrowth of the affected muscles (muscular hypertrophy) occurred in association with primary orthostatic tremor.

Causes-

The exact cause of primary orthostatic tremor is unknown (idiopathic). Some researchers believe that the disorder is a variant or subtype of essential tremor. Other researchers believe the disorder is a separate entity. Some individuals with primary orthostatic tremor have had a family history of tremor suggesting that in these cases genetic factors may play a role in the development of the disorder. However, more research is necessary to determine the exact, underlying cause (s) of primary orthostatic tremor.

Affected populations-

Primary orthostatic tremor affects females slightly more frequently than males. Because many affected individuals of primary orthostatic tremor often go unrecognized or misdiagnosed, the disorder is believed by some to be under-diagnosed, making it difficult to determine the true frequency of this disorder in the general population.

Related disorders-

Tremors, involuntary quivering, or trembling movements can occur in association with many disorders. They may occur at any age and may be rhythmic or intermittent. Tremors mainly occur in disorders of the central nervous system, and especially in disorders of the cerebellum or basal ganglia. Examples of cerebellar diseases might be tumors of the cerebellum, multiple sclerosis involving the cerebellum, or a degenerative disease such as spinocerebellar degeneration. Examples of disorders of the basal ganglia include parkinson’s disease (discussed in more detail below), wilson’s disease, and many other rare and common disorders. Tremor may also occur as a result of anxiety, medication, or be of unknown cause (idiopathic).

Orthostatic myoclonus is a rare condition that is similar to primary orthostatic tremor, but myoclonus refers to sudden, involuntary jerking of a muscle or group of muscles caused by muscle contraction or relaxation. Orthostatic myoclonus is characterized by slowly progressive unsteadiness when standing that is relieved by walking or sitting. Some affected individuals experienced bouncing stance and recurrent falls. More research is necessary to determine when orthostatic myoclonus and primary orthostatic tremor are the same disorder or similar, yet distinct, disorders. In rare cases, orthostatic myoclonus may be associated with underlying neoplasm.

Essential tremor is a common movement disorder characterized by an involuntary rhythmic tremor of a body part or parts, primarily the hands, arms, and neck. In many affected individuals, upper limb tremor may occur as an isolated finding. However, in others, tremor may gradually involve other anatomic regions, such as the head, voice, and tongue, leading to a quiver in the voice or difficulties articulating speech. 

1 person found this helpful

5 Common Psychological Problems That Affect People In Old Age!

Dr. Rahul Chandhok 91% (11 ratings)
M.D Psychiatry , MBBS
Psychiatrist, Faridabad
5 Common Psychological Problems That Affect People In Old Age!

As people grow older, they age physically as well as mentally. Just as they become more susceptible to conditions such as arthritis, their risk of mental illnesses also increases. It is also important to note that physical ailments influence mental ailments. Thus, arthritis may not only be a problem in itself but may cause mental disorders as well.

Some of the most common psychological problems that affect the elderly are:

  1. DepressionDepression can affect people of all ages but the elderly have a higher risk of suffering from it. The symptoms and effects of this condition vary from person to person. These include feeling sad constantly, tiredness and lack of energy, lack of self-worth, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, insomnia and reduced appetite. This may be caused as a side effect of certain medications or treatment, as a result of frustrations caused by other physical ailments or just an effect of age.
  2. Memory Problems: As people get older, their memory weakens. Many lose their long-term memory skills. They may also lose their short-term memory. This is not the same as being forgetful. Characteristic symptoms of amnesia include confusion, memory loss, inability to recognize people, etc. Amnesia may be caused by a number of factors including trauma to the head, brain damage or psychological factors such as PTSD.
  3. Dementia: Dementia is characterized by the person’s mental inability to function normally. This could be in the form of random mood swings, apathy, confusion, changes in short-term memory or failed sense of direction. Dementia is typically caused by the death of brain cells due to tumors, infections, lack of oxygen, lack of nutrition etc. Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, vascular dementia and frontotemporal dementia are all forms of dementia.
  4. Alzheimer’s Disease: This is a kind of dementia as well. In such cases, the patient loses memory of where they are and believe themselves to be in another place and time zone. The patient may not be able to rationalize things happening around him and may be unable to recognize their own family members. This is a neurodegenerative disease that involves shrinkage of the brain cells. It may be genetic. Alzheimer’s can be treated and managed but it cannot be cured.
  5. Insomnia: Insomnia can be classified as a physical and mental ailment. It is characterized by the inability to sleep well at night. Some of the noticeable symptoms include tossing and turning for hours in bed before going to sleep, waking up frequently at night, waking up earlier than planned and falling asleep during the day. Insomnia in the elderly is typically caused by stress and anxiety. It may also be the result of certain types of medication.
4419 people found this helpful

Understanding The Motor & Non-Motor Symptoms Of Parkinson's Disease!

Dr. Devesh K Singh 88% (18 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - General Surgery, Mch - Neurosurgery, FLCS
Neurologist, Ghaziabad
Understanding The Motor & Non-Motor Symptoms Of Parkinson's Disease!

What is Parkinson’s disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive and degenerative disorder of the Central Nervous System that mostly affects older people. It is a chronic disease and the symptoms develop over a period of time. The characteristic symptoms of Parkinson’s are rigidity, shaking, bradykinesia (slowness in movement) and shuffled gait. Anxiety and depression also seem to be common in advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease. In addition to the motor symptoms, the cognitive function of the brain is also compromised.

Degeneration of the nerve cells in the substantia nigra of the brain results in the reduction in production of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter in the brain. Neurotransmitters relay impulses from one nerve to the other. This is what is mainly responsible for the motor symptoms in Parkinson’s. Although, Parkinson’s is not a curable disease, it can be controlled and the progress of the disease can be kept in check with certain medications.

What causes Parkinson’s disease?
The cause of Parkinson’s is mostly idiopathic, i.e. the cause is unknown and is not specific. However, there have been cases which show that it can be attributed to factors such as genetic and environmental factors.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson’s?

The symptoms of Parkinson’s can be classified as Motor symptoms and Non-motor symptoms:

Motor Symptoms 

  • Bradykinesia: Slow movement
  • Tremor of limbs
  • Rigidity or stiffness of trunk and limbs
  • Impaired balance and difficulty in coordination or postural instability

Non-motor Symptoms 

Parkinson’s disease is not curable, but when detected early, medicines are prescribed to give symptomatic relief. Dopamine substitutes are prescribed to the patient to relieve the motor symptoms.

Adopting Deep Brain Stimulation For Parkinson's disease

MS - General Surgery, MCh - Neuro Surgery, MBBS
Neurosurgeon, Greater Noida
Adopting Deep Brain Stimulation For Parkinson's disease

One of the common ailments in the elderly people is the Parkinson’s. A progressive disorder, when left untreated, results in worsening of the symptoms. Hence, it is essential to understand the treatment options available to manage the condition effectively. You may be suggested surgical therapies if medication is not effective enough to treat the symptoms.

Surgical treatment options can be beneficial for patients who are suffering from symptoms, but they do not help with treating the disease. In the past, surgical methods like Thalamotomy and Pallidotomy were used to destroy brain cells that contributed to the symptoms. While these methods are still used, they are very rare and situational.

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), an FDA-approved procedure, has become much more popular as it is much safer and does not involve invasive surgery. Instead of destroying brain cells like traditional methods, DBS involves sending electric pulses to the affected brain cells to reduce the symptoms. It is not a treatment procedure, but a means of bringing down the severity of Parkinson’s to allow better and more comfortable treatment.

Deep Brain Simulation – Who are the right candidates?
Deep Brain Simulation is commonly used for Parkinson ’s disease, but it is not recommended for everyone. It is a preferred method of treatment for people who have had Parkinson’s for at least four years but have complications which include long periods of time where medications do not work, or symptoms return, uncontrolled and involuntary movements or the freezing/stiffness in the body.

Deep Brain Simulation is not recommended for those who have Dementia as it can lead to memory problems. The general rule of thumb that neurosurgeons follow is that Deep Brain Simulation can help with symptoms that do not get better with medication. DBS can help reduce medication requirements for patients as well as reduce the side effects that may occur due to medication.

Disorder specialists and neurosurgeons can conduct tests to determine if DBS is going to be effective for a patient before going ahead with such a procedure. An extensive assessment is necessary to understand the symptoms, the effect of Parkinson's drugs and also brain imaging is done. All of the expected benefits are then evaluated for the patients, and if the procedure can help alleviate the symptoms, DBS is given a green signal by neurosurgeons and patients can undergo the procedure.

How Does Deep Brain Simulation Work?
Deep Brain Simulation is a very complex procedure. Brain cells communicate with the rest of the body through electric signal, and these become irregular and do not work properly when affected by Parkinson's. DBS smoothens the functioning of these brain cells and reduces symptoms through electric pulses through the implantation of a medical device known as neurostimulator which is also referred as brain pacemaker.

But, as with any treatment procedure, DBS has potential risks and side effects, hence discuss with neurosurgeon thoroughly to access the suitability.

2952 people found this helpful

Parkinson's Disease - Know The Risk Factors!

MBBS, MD - General Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Chennai
Parkinson's Disease - Know The Risk Factors!

Parkinson’s disease is a disorder involving the nervous system. It can start with a mere tremor of one hand and advances to slow movement and stiffness. The face might show little no symptoms in the beginning but the speech might become slurred. With every passing day, the condition worsens. This condition has no permanent cure but the symptoms can be improved with proper medication.

What are the symptoms?
Some unmistakable symptoms include the following:

  • A grandual tremor of the hand is a very common symptom of this disease.
  • A stiffness of the muscles that can limit the range of motion and sharp pain.
  • The posture of the body might get compromised. Often balancing problems are witnessed among many patients.
  • There could be problems with speech leading to soft, slurry or quick speech. The speech in some cases can become monotonous devoid of inflexions.
  • Parkinson’s disease can lead to slow movement and makes performing of simple tasks difficult.
  • Patients often find writing very difficult

What are the possible causes of Parkinson’s disease?

  • Specific genetic mutation can lead to Parkinson’s disease in folks who have a family history of Parkinson’s disease. Certain variations of the gene increase the risk of this disease
  • Exposure to certain environmental factors or certain toxins can trigger Parkinson’s disease in an individual.
  • Certain cells in the brain known as Lewy bodies can trigger Parkinson’s disease.
  • A certain kind of protein cells within the brain known as alpha-synuclein can trigger the Parkinson’s disease in an individual

What are the risk factors?

  • Heredity: Having an immediate family member or a close relative suffering from Parkinson’s disease can increase the risk of getting this disease in an individual
  • Age: Although not a prime risk factor, but an individual over the age of over 60 have an increased risk of getting this disease
  • Toxins: Exposure to pesticide or certain herbicide increase the risk of Parkinson’s
  • Sex: Men are more likely to get Parkinson’s disease than women

What is the medication for Parkinson’s disease?

  • Carbidopa-levodopa: This is a natural chemical that gets passed to the brain and is converted to dopamine by the body. The benefits of this medication might reduce with increased symptoms.
  • Carbidopa-levodopa infusion: A popular drug in this category is known as the Duopa. It is administered directly into the small intestine in the form of gel through a feeding tube.
  • MAO-B inhibitors: Drugs from this group include rasagiline and selegiline. This is a powerful medicine. Many patient experiences hallucination during the initial days of consuming these drugs.
  • Anticholinergics: This medication is mainly used to counter tremors of the limbs in the early stage of the Parkinson’s disease.
3748 people found this helpful

Parkinson's Disease - 5 Myths And Facts About It!

Dr. Sumanto Chatterjee 85% (10 ratings)
DM - Neurology, MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
Neurologist, Delhi
Parkinson's Disease - 5 Myths And Facts About It!

You might be aware that the Parkinson’s diseases is related to the nervous system and is a progressive disorder that impairs movement. The cause of the illness is still unknown, but certain factors like environmental triggers and genetics may play a part in this regard. There are several myths about this condition that are prevalent among people. Some of them are listed below along with the facts.

Myth #1: Parkinson’s disease occurs only in aged persons
This is one of the biggest misconceptions that people have about this disease. The misconception arises because the disease is usually diagnosed at an old age. But according to various researches that are conducted the disease may start developing at a younger age.

Myth #2: The disease symptoms include only impaired movement
Impaired movement maybe one of the biggest symptoms of the diseases but not the only one. There are other symptoms which affect day-to-day activities but are still unnoticed. These symptoms include constipation, sleep disorders, sweating, abnormal bladder functioning, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, cognitive symptoms, depression and even anxiety. But the symptoms that are non-motor are treatable unlike the problems with movement.

Myth #3: There is no hope for patients who are diagnosed with the disease
Patients who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease are often told that they do not have any hope towards a cure. It is true that the disease is a progressive one, but it is not true that it cannot be controlled. Certain devices have been discovered which when used sends a signal to the brain which helps in reducing the tremors which are one of the well-known symptoms of the disease. So, no need to lose hope.

Myth #4: Medications are the only way in which you can undertake treatment for Parkinson’s disease
Some people believe that they cannot do anything except for taking medications to control the disease. But this is not true. Doing regular exercise and changing your food habits are at many times helpful in treating this particular condition. Have a balanced diet which will have enough fiber is also helpful. To increase your stability and flexibility, a daily workout routine is quite recommendable, and it will even increase your self-confidence and your feeling of independence.

Myth #5: Everything about the disease can be predicted
The disease is not at all predictable. If it were, a cure would have been in place by now. Everything from the symptoms to the treatment procedure varies from person to person. The disease may take years to develop in one individual but may develop instantly in someone else.

Don’t go by hearsay evidence about a disease. Medical science has improved a lot over the years. If you have any doubt regarding your health condition reach out to your doctor and clarify them at once.

1741 people found this helpful
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